Practical Aspects of Drug Discovery: at the Interface of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacology


Institut Pasteur de Montevideo

Deadline: 4th August 2022.

This interactive, lecture-, case-histories and discussion-based course will give scientists of different disciplines a broad introduction to the theoretical, practical and organisational aspects of small molecule and natural product drug discovery.

Additional discussion-based practical sessions will build on the lectures to illustrate the strategic planning of drug discovery programmes, including the development of target product profiles, compound progression criteria, scientific strategy and the need to work collaboratively.

This course will focus on the need for drug discovery in Latin America and how these approaches can be applied in the regional context and environment.



  • Project management and organisation of multi-disciplinary projects
  • Target discovery and validation
  • Hit discovery options
  • Phenotypic screening and mode of action elucidation
  • Screening set assessment
  • Screening cascades, assay development and quality control
  • Data mining
  • Introduction to pharmacokinetics
  • Principles of compound optimisation and case histories
  • In silico approaches to drug design
  • Natural products – isolation, structure elucidation and optimisation
  • Data packages required for out licensing and partnering
  • An introduction to preclinical and clinical development


Target audience

The course is open to applicants from institutes based in Latin America and the Caribbean, and with a background knowledge of any discipline related to drug discovery, including biology, chemistry, pharmacology, computational chemistry and informatics. Representatives from research institutions working in non-transmissible and communicable Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), TB, Malaria and HIV among other diseases, are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should have an academic or commercial background in relevant fields, such us:

  • postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers at established institutes and in small or medium sized companies
  • senior investigators considering entering the field or seeking further professional development


Bursaries and how to apply

A limited number of bursaries are available. These are awarded on merit to cover travel, accommodation and sustenance. Bursaries can be applied for as part of the course application form. Applicants will be notified of a bursary award along with their place on the course, usually within one month of the application deadline. The decision of the selection committee is final.

Please click here to begin the online application process. If you have any problems with the online application process, please contact us.

Please note: Applications must be supported by a recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor, line manager or head of department). A request for a supporting statement will be sent to your nominated sponsor automatically during the application process. Applicants must ensure that their sponsor provides this supporting statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting statement cannot be considered.


Click here for more information about the course.


Institut Pasteur de Montevideo